Author: BakChiZai

France: first there were the ‘yellow vests’, now meet the ‘red scarves’

After months of crippling protests by yellow vest demonstrators, thousands of people sporting red scarves marched through Paris on Sunday in favour of the French Republic and against the violence that has become a weekly feature of public life in this country. The French street has always been a crucial stage for political theatre, and…

Search for survivors, despair in Brazil amid dam collapse

Brazilian officials on Sunday resumed the search for hundreds of missing people in the wake of a massive dam collapse, with firefighter crews returning to mud-covered areas after a several-hour suspension over fears that a second dam was at risk of breach. Authorities evacuated several neighbourhoods in the southeastern city of Brumadinho that were within…

Maduro abandons demand for US diplomats to leave Venezuela

Venezuela abandoned its decision to sever diplomatic ties with the US, saying each country agreed to keep a so-called interest section open in their respective capitals. The Saturday evening announcement that the missions would stay open was a retreat after days of bellicose rhetoric prompted by the US decision to recognise National Assembly leader Juan…

US and Canadian fighter jets scramble to escort Russian ‘Blackjack’ bombers in Arctic

US Air Force and Canadian fighter jets were scrambled to escort two Russian bombers that were travelling in the Artic region near the North American coastline. The North American Aerospace Defence Command said two F-22 and two CF-18 fighter jets identified two Russian Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers that were entering an area patrolled by the…

Black sugar, how come you taste so good? Chinese medicine has the answer

Black sugar – an unrefined version of the familiar sweet crystalline substance but with a rich, inky hue and dark caramel flavour – has consumers queuing up for hours on end from Taipei to Singapore. More than just a distinctive sweetener, it is also used by traditional Chinese medical practitioners who recommend it to provide…

‘Sex cult’ tantric yoga retreat in Thailand reopens after rape scandal

The world’s biggest tantric yoga school, which closed after multiple women alleged rape and sexual assault, has reopened with the accused leader back in charge and amid accusations that management suppressed an investigation into the abuse. Agama Yoga, which is located on the Thai island of Koh Phangan, shut down for “restructuring” in September after…

Flying distance for a dictator, neutral on nukes: why Vietnam is perfect for Trump-Kim summit

The location for the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has become a topic of much speculation by the global media following the White House’s announcement that the meeting would take place in late February. The selection of the venue is highly symbolic diplomatically, and therefore the decision…

UK Telegraph apologises, pays ‘substantial damages’ over Melania Trump article

London’s Daily Telegraph apologised to US first lady Melania Trump and said it had agreed to pay her “substantial damages” for publishing false statements regarding her family and her modelling career. It was at least the third time that the first lady has successfully sued publications or online blogs over defamatory articles. “We apologise unreservedly…